Work With Us
How do our client relationships begin?
Usually with a simple conversation where someone tells us about what they are trying to get done at the barriers they perceive to being successful. While the set up for that conversation can be done by phone or email, in the end we will travel so that the conversation can take place in person. It can be for hour or the whole day. Following that conversation, usually after we have had several days to ponder the situation, we will offer our own perspective on what we have heard. All of this we do on a no-fee basis.
At that point, the relationship can take any number of directions. If there clearly is a way that we can be helpful immediately, we may negotiate the details of a specific engagement. We may also simply agree to stay in touch, swapping information and insights informally while the situation may continue to evolved. Or we may conclude that the opportunities for further constructive collaboration are too limited to justify an ongoing dialogue. Even in those cases, it is not unusual for someone to reach out to us five years later to have another conversation, which we always welcome.
Arrangements for each engagement are client specific. We start with a traditional dollars per hour plus expenses model, but have also done retainer relationships. Many of the retainer relationships have been more a fee-smoothing arrangement where hours are charged against the retainer balance rather than billed directly each month. Unlike many consulting firms, we do not bill by the day. Even when working at a client location (our primary model), we bill only for the time actually spent on that client that day. Our fees vary by the type of assignment, but are comparable to what are charged by partners in smaller law firms that do mainstream corporate work.
We informally follow in our work the confidentiality standards imported by Marvin Bower from the legal profession into McKinsey. We do not use the identities of our clients in our own materials unless the client has itself disclosed the relationship publicly. Even so, clients and their issues are usually described generically and not by name. Your name is your name. Our name is ours. It’s a rather simple concept.